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Interior design expert Martyn White takes us through his vintage wishlist

Martyn White is a design journalist, editor and designer based in London. A lover of opulence, he narrates on the very best in luxury design, interiors and art. Martyn has assembled a selection of his top vintage designs on Vinterior.

Humans in the home: inside a Londoner’s characterful flat

Today we’ll chat with Lizzy, Content Associate at Vinterior who lives in a flat filled with small bowls, pine cones and a mad badger rug. Enjoy the tour below!

A Model Recommends: Ruth Crilly’s Best Vinterior Buys

Ruth Crilly – international fashion model and beauty insider – made the bold decision a year ago to up sticks and move her young tribe to the heart of Somerset. Embracing life in the bucolic English countryside also meant relocating from her modernist house to a historical Georgian property. Thus began the challenge of merging Ruth’s love of mid century modern design with other period pieces, all of which you can see developing over at @casacrilly. Here Ruth gives a spirited run through of her favourite finds so far…

Get the Look: New York Maximalist Living Room

This fabulous New York City apartment is a fine example of how you can achieve a maximalist aesthetic without bold wallpapers or quirky upholstery.

Home tour: Susie Lawrence’s magical pink and grey family home.

Last week we were welcomed into the gorgeous home of the lovely Susie Lawrence. Her home is a feat of subtle yet playful colour, varying from dusty rose pinks to dramatic charcoal green-greys. Set in the Chilterns, it has an almost Wes Anderson magical quality. We hope you feel inspired too!

Home tour: Illustrator Emma Block’s colourful London home.

Emma Block’s much loved illustration is known for its wonderful gentle yet vibrant colour palettes and celebration of print and pattern. It’s not surprising that Emma’s new London home also reflects her eye for print and pattern. Set against a calming soft grey are joyful bursts of coral, dusty pink and sea green. There are also many references to Emma’s travels through South America, found in vivid woven rugs and other textile accessories. Enjoy this tour with Emma through her lovely home and find inspiration in all corners!

Home Tour: tech entrepreneur Sandrine invites us into her London home.

Meet Sandrine, the CEO of Vinterior! As the founder of the UK’s leading marketplace for vintage and antique furniture, it’s no wonder that her London home is also bursting with unique vintage finds. An eclectic mix of 20th century design – from Marcel Breuer’s sleek Wassily chair to the 70s Togo sofa – this home is filled with houseplants, artwork and a regal British Shorthair by the name of Misifu.

Marcel Breuer's sleek Wassily chair
Marcel Breuer’s Wassily lounge chair contrasts with the boho rattan rocking chair
Don’t mess with Misifu

Who lives here? I live here with Romain, my husband, and my sassy cat, Misifu.

Describe your home in three words! It’s eclectic, messy, and welcoming!

What first caught your eye about your home? The large open plan kitchen.

Favourite piece of furniture? My yellow easy chair by Poul Volther.

Best vintage find? My vintage Ligne Roset togo set is the most comfortable sofa in the world.

What makes for a great weekend in London? A hike in the near countryside with a nice pub lunch.

Who would make it into your dream squad? Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn. I’ve learned a lot from his Master of Scale podcast series and his Blitz Scaling book.

vintage togo sofa
The dangerously comfortable Togo sofa
yellow poul volt her easy chair
This yellow Poul Volther easy chair inspired the founding of Vinterior!
large open plan kitchen
The panel featuring Sandrine’s best food moments
vintage retro brass drinks trolley

Room you love the most? My kitchen.

Top dinner party guests? Ray Dalio, Jeff Bezos and Reid Hoffman.

What would you all eat? Sea urchin sushi!

 Your home was ablaze, what do you run back to save? My phone!

Proud DIY moment? I made a huge panel with food photos I took.

Best entrepreneur quote? ‘If you’re not embarrassed by your first product, you’ve launched too late.’ – Reid Hoffman

Top tip for female business founders? Have more confidence in your own judgement and abilities, trust your guts.

Find all items linked below

Click on the links below to find these vintage pieces (from top to bottom):

  1. (After) Henri Matisse Vegetables
2. Franco Albini Rattan Coffee Table
3. Rattan Weave Lounge Chair
4. Cibele Plant Stand
5. Coffee Table In Teak By Finn Juhl
6. Dutch Mid Century Sofa
7. French Brass Trolley Circa 1940
8. Ligne Roset Togo Sofa
9. Black Leather Armchair Black By Marcel Breuer
10. Yellow Lounge Chair By Louis Van Teeffelen
11. Mid Century Modern Handcrafted Brass Bubbles Chandelier
12. Victorian White Marble Fireplace

Do we live in throwaway homes and can we avoid this? Amanda Jones has an ‘Exit Strategy’ and some great advice.

Amanda Jones is the human behind the popular Instagram account @small_sustainable_steps. Known for her honest and helpful posts across a wide host of topics, from living with MS to fighting a culture of excess and waste within her home, Amanda’s social following has gathered serious speed. In an age of microwave consumerism, and the subsequent throwaway culture which can arise from this, our curiosity was piqued by Amanda’s smart approach to curating her home and what finds a place in it. Her recent ‘Exit Strategy’ – by which we refer to the removal of anything deemed to be excess – resonated with many of Amanda’s followers. Enjoy this candid chat with her about all things interiors and creating a home which breathes.

How did you become interested in interiors?

I first became interested in interiors at the grand old age of 10. I was moving into my own bedroom for the first time, and my Mum gave me carte blanche on how I wanted my room decorating. It was the smallest bedroom in the house… I chose a dark brown wallpaper with small sprigs of peach flowers printed on it. Very 1970s. I could tell my Mum thought it would be too much, but I loved it. I went away for a week with my friend’s family, and when I got back my bedroom was done. I loved it, and I’ve been hooked on interior design ever since. The chest of drawers I had in my bedroom belonged to my grandparents. I still have it now in my living room. So I’m not only hooked on interiors, but also secondhand furniture. 

How would you describe your home?

My home is an eclectic mix of vintage and new pieces. Everything I have in my home has some meaning to me, my family, or some practical use. It is colourful and calm. Whilst I might have a minimal mindset now, and my home is very pared down to what it was, I don’t think I’m what you might typically see as minimalist. There’s no monochrome or clean lines. It’s all about being comfortable, about not being too precious. When people visit, I want them to feel relaxed and welcome.

What concerns you about buying patterns today, particularly for home design?

I am particularly concerned about the growing trend of fast interiors. We are being encouraged to replace furniture or decor on a regular basis. If we’re not careful, the interior industry will go the same way as fast fashion. This throwaway mindset means we aren’t really giving any value items we are bringing into our home. Mass produced furniture and decor can be bought so cheaply now, and therefore easy to dispose of. This is a worrying trend, not only for the planet, but also for our pockets.

Can you tell us about your recent ‘Exit Strategy’?

My Exit Strategy is something I devised when I started to declutter. These are some tips to make the process of letting ‘stuff’ go as easy as possible:

  1. Decide where that item will go. It could be to a charity, a local group, a friend, or sell something. This actually makes letting go easier, especially as you know that someone else will benefit.
  2. Have a holding place, out of the way, where donated items can be stored. That way you’re not tripping over bags and boxes. Ideally get items out of your house as soon as possible because then you are less tempted to pull things out again. When decluttering it is important to get a sense of the space you’re creating, this gives you motivation to do more. It’s your reward, so to speak. If you have bags and boxes piled up, it’s difficult to see your progress.
  3. Set a date to remove these items, and do it.
  4. Now I’m living a low waste lifestyle, I’ve developed another point. Before I bring anything new into my house, I ask where that item will go when I no longer require it. Is it something someone else will want, is it recyclable? I try and avoid items that will only end in landfill. This has made me more mindful of my purchases, and really question if I genuinely need something.

What is the first thing you approach when renovating a room?

When I’m designing a room, I first think about how I will use the room, and just as importantly, how I want the room to feel. I might then choose an item of furniture, or a decorative piece, and pull the look together from there. I never rush a room, I like it to evolve over time. I’m a firm believer that a piece of furniture will find its way to you, even if you have to wait a while. I always have a mental list of things I’m on the hunt for, and keep my eyes peeled when I’m out and about.

What do you most value in sourcing second-hand/vintage furniture?

When I’m buying secondhand furniture, I really value the history of the piece. I love finding things that are unique, things that have been made to a high standard. I always look for something a little bit different, and when I do eventually find what I’m looking for, it’s a bit like you’ve hit the jackpot.

Which aspect of your home do you enjoy the most and why?

The aspect I love most about my home is the view over the garden. It was originally why we bought this house. We are in a slightly elevated position, with views over our neighbourhood. Even though we are in a town, it feels more like the countryside. We recently updated our old conservatory, adding a large gable end window and solid roof, which means we can appreciate the view all year round now. It’s a really lovely, calm space to sit.

Do you have any renovation projects in the pipeline?

Updating our conservatory was the first phase of renovations, and we still have more to do. I have MS, and we are looking to ‘future proof’ our home, should my needs change. We will be changing the layout of our downstairs, so we can add a bathroom, without extending. This will mean moving our kitchen into the dining room/conservatory space. We want to keep the look of the new space as simple as possible, to feel light and airy. We are going to have to make a relatively small space, work very hard.

What are your top three tips to those who are thinking about sustainable consumerism for home design?

If I were to pass on three tips for sustainable home interiors it would be: 
 
  1. Think before you buy, is it something you really need? What will it bring to the quality of your life, is it something that you will have for many years, or is it just an impulse buy?
  2. Don’t bow to trends. Know what you love, and stick to that. I’ve had a similar look to my home for 30 years, I’m confident in the look and feel I want in my home.
  3. Buy secondhand if you can. It’s not always possible but the more we stop the demand for new, the healthier our planet will be.  

Do you feel inspired by Amanda’s approach to sustainable home design? Let us know in the comment section! If you would like to find unique and built to last vintage furniture, enjoy browsing the Vinterior collection here.  

Don’t forget to follow @small_sustainable_steps to hear more from Amanda about living a life with less waste and much more besides!

Interior designer Celine talks tips on home renovations and what’s going to be big in 2019…

Celine is both a seasoned interior designer and the founder of interior design practice Indie&Co. A triumph of authentic yet understated interiors, Celine uses her design expertise to create homes which address the desire to lead a more balanced existence and encourage mindfulness within our spaces. She chatted to us about life as a designer and threw us some great tips for approaching any home renovation project.

Why did you become an interior designer?

I originally wanted to be a product designer but realised that whenever I wanted to design an object, I ended up designing the space around it.

Can you describe a typical project to us?

I mostly work on residential renovations from kitchen extensions to loft extensions to full refurbishment.

How would you describe your own home?

I am currently in the process of doing it up! We completed the loft extension and the renovation of the first floor this month and we are about to start the kitchen extension and ground floor renovation. I am designing my home around our needs and not around what the resale value would be which is freeing and makes it a functional space.

Home is everything to me, and this house is never empty. I have two small children, a dog, I work from home with my assistant when I am not onsite, I hold meetings in my house and my husband also has a home office which he uses at least one day a week. Usually on projects, we ended up with a fairly muted palette but this isn’t the case in my house. We used a lot of green from light to very moody, as well as some muted pinks and mustard yellows. The furniture is a mismatch of build-in joinery, vintage pieces and contemporary designers.

Where do you draw design inspiration from?

I find inspiration in the past, the colours, the layouts, the furniture and uses of it in a modern context. I also find restaurants and hotels a good place to find inspiration. 

What three words sum up life as an interior designer?

Unpredictable, flexible, exciting.

What is the first thing you tend to notice when walking into a new room?

The feel of the room is the first thing which hits me, so without realising I am thinking about: how the room smells, the temperature, is it nice to the touch, how the light makes me feel, what are the materials? I guess following this, the layout would probably be next.

Is there a design trend you would love to see make a comeback?

It is all about context, one item could fit perfectly in a space and feel totally relevant but look outdated in an other. I wouldn’t worry about trends, they always make a come back anyway. 

And one which history should forget?

Again this all depends on the context. I wouldn’t want to rule anything out but I guess that carpets in bathrooms would be one, avocado bathroom suits, the extensive use of plastic in interiors, PVC windows and the extensive use of down lights.

Top tip for somebody starting a new home project?

Hire a professional, it may seem expensive at the start – especially if you’ve never used an interior designer – but the investment is worth it. They will know how to avoid big costly mistakes and will allow you to actually deliver the dream home you originally wanted. They will have plenty of contacts which they can recommend and take a lot of the pressure off. A home renovation is a draining and at times very challenging process, so having someone there can make the whole difference. Also move out if you can afford it, the building stage always takes longer then originally anticipated and lastly put some money aside for the unexpected.

What’s a mistake which people often make when decorating?  

They look at each item individually rather than think about the whole picture.

Whose home would you love to sneak peak into?

I love all the homes on the site The Modern House.

Is there a dream piece you would like to find for your own home?

I am always on the look out for something a bit different. I have my eye on a few art pieces at the moment, and I also would love to find nice floor lights and table lights. 

What do you think will be big in 2019?

Wood kitchens, green kitchen, micro cement and micro concrete, sustainable and ethical products. 

Is there a film for which you would love to design the set?

I am a fan of Jean-Pierre Jeunet so any of his movies; I also love period dramas mostly for their sets and costumes.

And finally, what’s the best way to spend a weekend in London?

A long walk in the park followed by a pub lunch. 

Celine’s top three vintage items? Find them below and click through to view on the website. 

  1. Vintage Czechoslovak Folding Daybed, 1960s

For me this hits all the marks in terms of colour, texture and practicality, it is such a hard piece to find. Most of my clients are after a day/guest bed which looks beautiful.

2. ‘Caught In The Act’, Antique British Oil Painting C. 1800s

This is such a great painting, its both playful and timeless.

3. Swedish Gothic Revival Bookcase

A key piece in a kitchen or living space, this bookcase is elegant and understated.

Read more about Indie&Co here.